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Kathmandu Faces Water Woes as Melamchi Shuts Down for Monsoon

June 17, 2024
Melamchi Water

The Melamchi Water Supply Development Committee is preparing to temporarily close the Melamchi water supply project in response to heavy monsoon rains. The Melamchi River has become cloudy, raising concerns about potential damage to the project infrastructure.

The committee had initially planned to close the project on June 13th but delayed the closure due to a delayed monsoon arrival in the Bagmati province. With the monsoon now active, the MWSDC is closely monitoring the situation.

“We can close Melamchi within 10 minutes if the river shows signs of becoming heavily clouded due to rain,” said Ratna Lamichhane, Executive Director of the Melamchi Water Supply Development Committee. “While we understand the importance of water supply, the project’s safety is our top priority.”

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Despite exceeding the initial target of 170 million liters per day, the project is currently supplying around 200 million liters to Kathmandu Valley residents. Officials acknowledge the inconvenience a closure might cause but emphasize the need to protect the project from potential monsoon damage.

“We received recommendations from consultants and the Asian Development Bank to close Melamchi to avoid monsoon-related risks,” explained Lamichhane. “We are actively preparing for a temporary closure.”

The Melamchi Water Supply Development Committee aims to continue water distribution until heavy rainfall necessitates closure. This temporary shutdown is part of a larger strategy by the government to safeguard the Melamchi project during the monsoon season.

The Department of Water and Meteorology has predicted above-average rainfall this year, urging residents to be cautious of potential monsoon-related incidents like floods and landslides.

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